Quality assurance and quality preservation of feed ingredients and finished feed
An objective of feed quality assurance programmes is to manufacture and deliver animal feed of consistent quality that achieves expected levels of animal performance. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) ensures that ingredient sourcing and purchasing will minimise product quality and safety risks, including biological, chemical or physical.
Hence the onus lies with both suppliers of feed ingredients and feed manufacturers to ensure the feed delivered to livestock is fit for purpose and of consistent quality.
The sophistication of modern feed formulation software along with advances in near infrared technology (NIR) have helped nutritionists ensure the necessary nutrition objectives are met. The physical quality can also be assured with the use of sieve sets, pellet durability and pellet hardness testing tools and of course visual assessments.
However, controlling some of the invisible chemical and biological quality parameters--including chemical degradation by oxidation as well as biological degradation from bacteria and mould growth–is more difficult and challenging. The quality compromises imposed on feed by these threats include nutrient losses and reduced feed intake along with further potential risks from mycotoxin and Salmonella contamination
Controlling invisible threats could be assisted by devising a systematic approach to managing these potential threats is to develop a relative risk chart for feed ingredients and finished feed based on factors known to influence the risk. Management and manufacturing practices can then be linked to the chart according to the risk ratings. A range of practices can be adopted including interventions with appropriately formulated antioxidants and mould inhibitors applied at dose rates in line with the risk profiles developed for the specific feed ingredients and finished feeds.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Dr Rick Carte and Kemin Industries.